Image via: Sweden.se
On May 2, 2009, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, the MA students in Columbia's Climate and Society Masters Program and Dr. James Hansen will host their first 350 Conference focusing specifically on the idea that we have to get our current atmospheric levels of 385 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide emissions down to at least 350 ppm (or lower). Just how scientists came up with this number, and how exactly we achieve this target is for them to know and you to find out. On May 2nd.
More after the jump.Masters students at Columbia University in New York City decided to put their ideas into action by organizing a one day conference bringing together the best minds in the field to discuss the practical challenges of lowering emissions down to 350 ppm in a relatively short amount of time. The idea came from recent research by Dr. James Hansen, that recommends the 350 target (or lower). After being flagged as that rogue scientist under the previous administration, always bucking the tide, Dr. Hansen has become increasingly vocal over the last year about the urgency, even crisis, that is climate change. This even includes having the gumption to write a letter to President-elect Obama to not just give lip service to climate change, but to understand that it is no longer under debate - climate change is real, it is here now, and it demands a united front of action.
There is another group - 350.org - created by environmental author Bill McKibben, with the goal of inspiring people to take climate change seriously and to see the urgency of the issue. October 24, 2009 is 350 National Day of Climate Action. Their website also has information explaining the science behind the 350 target and offer suggestions on what it will take politically and socially to reach this target.
Here's to hoping that they come up with more than a few good ideas. We hate to say it, but the world is sort of counting on them. Registration is not available at the time of this post, but check back soon as seating is limited. Proceeds from the conference will be donated to a non-profit working on climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly in developing countries.
Note: the author is a 2006 graduate of the Climate and Society Masters Program, but is in no way involved in the conference.:350 Conference:Climate and Society
More on 350 ppm
350: The Most Important Number of Your Lifetime
350 Presidential Election UN Climate Talks Invite Campaign Launches Today
350: Bill McKibben Inspires UK Audience to Join His Campaign
Brighter Planet and 350.org Challenge Bloggers to Offset Carbon Emissions with Onsite Badge
More on James Hansen
Climate Expert James Hansen Supports Cap-and-Dividend System
Dr. James Hansen Calls on Americans to Join Him at the Largest Protest on Global Warming in U.S. History
Nature and Stop Kingsworth Interview James Hansen about His Clash with Big Coal
James Hansen's Declaration of Stewardship For the Earth and All Creation